We believe it is important to recognize great leaders, entrepreneurs, and influential people. We’ve decided to start a spotlight series where we highlight individuals for their amazing work, skills, and message. And who better to kick off the series than a personal inspiration of mine: Brené Brown?

You might know her from her MANY books on leadership, shame, and vulnerability. Or maybe you know her from her TED Talks or her Netflix special. Either way, if you’ve seen her speak, you were probably pretty inspired. I mean, how could you not be?

As leaders, we often think that we have to be tough all the time in order to be respected. Brown counters this point and challenges us to view vulnerability as a powerful tool and the “greatest measure of courage.” All it is is the “willingness to show up, and to be seen, even when there are no guarantees.” And isn’t that EXACTLY what being a leader is? How many times do we have to show up and be positive in the face of crisis, disaster, and uncertainty?

It might seem daunting to hold space for that uncertainty and actually lead people through those hurdles. And, you know what, it probably is daunting! That’s where the idea of vulnerability comes into play. A great leader will stand up in front of their team and motivate them to all come together. To do this, they have to be open and honest with their team because no one can innovate on their own. It takes everyone coming together with a common goal to make profound change.

Leaders can normalize the idea that being uncomfortable is actually a good thing. Staying in the comfort zone will not push anyone forward. We all have to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. Sounds like an odd phrase, but it rings so true. As Brown would say, “All the good stuff” happens at the intersection of discomfort and vulnerability.

So as a leader, can you promise to be vulnerable? To show up for yourself and for your team? It doesn’t happen overnight, and it will be hard work, but it is worth every moment of effort. Your team will thank you for it. Your business will thank you for it. Why? Because that’s how impactful change happens- that willingness to fail, learn, grow, repeat.

We hope that this quick intro to Brené Brown and inspired you all to go look her up! She has a number of incredible books out and her Netflix special is both hilarious and fun. Let us know your thoughts after you go watch!